The design of shallow foundations on swelling soils needs a thorough study to evaluate the effect of swelling potential soil on the final foundation heave. For this reason, a simple analytical approach based on the soil stress state under the foundation can be used to calculate the foundation heave. This paper reports a set of analytical and numerical analysis using the finite-difference code (FLAC 3D), performed on an isolated shallow foundation founded on a swelling soil mass at N’Gaous city in Batna Province, Algeria, subjected to distributed vertical loads. Further, the influence of some parameters on total heave was analyzed, such as the embedded foundation and soil stiffness. The analysis results from the proposed 3D modelling was compared and discussed with analytical results. The numerical results obtained show a good agreement with the analytical solutions based on oedometer tests proposed in the literature, and deliver a satisfactory prediction of the heave of the shallow foundations.